Stars seek Northern B repeat
It hasn't been the typical overpowering, dominating season the Rocky Boy Stars have grown accustomed to over the past few years. But after claiming the Class B boys state title a year ago, and now entering the Northern B tournament as a No. 2 seed, the Stars are still very much a ive this postseason.
Two weeks ago the Stars lost in the District 1B championship game to Shelby. Now entering the Northern B divisional tournament as a No. 2 seed, the Stars will take on a new field packed with talent in Shelby.
Today through Saturday, the Stars will join the No. 1 2B Wolf Point Wolves, the No. 1 1B Shelby Coyotes, the No. 2 2B Malta Mustangs, the No. 3 2B Glasgow Scotties, the No. 3 1B Cut Bank Wolves, the No. 4 2B Plentywood Wildcats and the No. 4 1B Choteau Bulldogs.
Today the tournament will get underway at 1 p.m. when Wolf Point (19-0) takes on the Bulldogs (10-12). And play will continue at 2:30 p.m. when the Scotties (9-13) face the Stars (18-3)and at 6:30 p.m. when the Coyotes (15-6) faced the Wildcats (8-14). Today's action will wrap up at 8 p.m. when Cut Bank (16-5) takes on the Mustangs (16-3).
The Stars may not have seen their usual dominating season, but they have still found an abundance of success, which has propelled them into the postseason nicely.
Rocky Boy suffered a couple of key losses to Malta, Fairfield and Cut Bank throughout the season, but also had their share of big wins. The Stars proved they still had a powerful offense, as they put up at least 80 points in five different games this season. Their season high came against Valier with 97 points, but the Stars also had a 96-point outing against Heart Butte and a 91-point outing against Harlem.
The Stars' offense has been paced by Leisin Oats, a 5-10 senior guard and Garrett Lafromboise, a 6-5 senior post player two of the few holdovers fromlast year's state championship team. But the Stars have also seen big production from Kelsey Standing Rock, a 5-10 sophomore, Skylar Laforge, a 5-11 senior, Shane Bacon, a 5-10 sophomore and Nick Henry, a 5-9 junior.
Leisin Oats has averaged 15.5 points per game and Lafromboise has averaged 15.7. Laforge has also been big with 10 points per game, while Bacon and Henry both combine for 10 per game.
The high-tempo offense and pressure defense of the Stars has made them a force in the Class B ranks. They get out and control the pace of the game and can put points up in a hurry. Their defense may not always come up with the big stops, but their ability to get offense from any five guys on the floor can make up for any defensive letdown.
Jesse Driftwood and Jacob Gauer make Wolf Point a threat as the top-ranked team and the only unbeaten left in Class B, while Kyle Berkram, Dylan Smith and AJ Sheble give Cut Bank a real boost. Malta gets even production from all over, including high averages from Dane Stiles, Jaris Graham, Landon Costin and Kendall Denham.
Glasgow also gets a wide range of production from Chaz Gordon, Seth Johnson, Derek Hopkins and Bryan Larson. And Plentywood is led by Roby Nyby and Pres Harris, while Choteau is led by standout Chase Crabtree and Shelby is led by standouts Chase Ballantyne and Chase White. Shelby is coached by former Havre Blue Pony great Tom Reynolds.
The talent pool is deep in the Northern B and no matter who they face, Rocky Boy will have to play at a very high level.
Rocky Boy will open up their play today at 2:30 p.m. against Glasgow.